Researchers and students within the research centre have supported the Macquarie University iGEM team since 2010.
iGEM was established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005. It is the world’s premiere undergraduate research competition in synthetic biology.
What is iGEM?
iGEM has best been described by the scientific community as a ‘case of education driving research’. It does this by promoting collaborative and entrepreneurial science; educational interaction on a global scale; and the open sharing of protocols and data. In doing so, it provides a rich, unparalleled educational experience for our students; and pushes the creative limits in the synthetic biology field.
Events at iGEM
Teams of undergraduate students work on a project over the ‘US-summer’ vacation, and later present their research at a Giant Jamboree event held in Boston in late October, competing for medals and other special awards. Student teams are given a kit of biological ‘DNA’ parts and, using these parts as well as new parts of their own design, build biological systems and operate them in living cells to perform new tasks or functions.
Macquarie students at iGEM
Macquarie University, through the Biomolecular Sciences Capstone unit (CBMS330), has entered a team every year since 2010. Through the support of the research centre, the team has gone on to win numerous medals, including a gold medal for the past three years. To learn more about the projects from past teams, see:
- Chlorophyll II: Return of the Hydrogen - 2016
- Solar Synthesisers - 2015
- Photophyll – The Green Machine - 2014
- Green is the New Black - 2013
- Flick of the Switch - 2012
- Switcharoo – Light Switching - 2011
- Engineering a phytochrome switch - 2010
For more information about iGEM and how to incorporate it into a teaching program, read the ASBMB magazine.